Holga Medium Format Camera Solutions

The Holga is an inexpensive, medium format 120 film toy camera, made in China, appreciated for its low-fidelity aesthetic.

Hogla 120 CFN medium Format Film CameraThe Holga's cheap construction and simple meniscus lens often yields pictures that display vignetting, blur, light leaks, and other distortions. The camera's quality problems have become a virtue among some photographers, with Holga photos winning awards and competitions in art and news photography.

History

The Holga camera was designed by T. M. Lee, and first appeared in 1982 in Hong Kong. At the time, 120 rollfilm in black-and-white was the most widely available film in mainland China. The Holga was intended to provide an inexpensive mass-market camera for working-class Chinese in order to record family portraits and events. After the cameras began to be distributed in the West, some photographers took to using the Holga for its surrealistic, impressionistic scenes for landscape, still life, portrait, and especially, street photography. In this respect, the Holga became the successor to the Diana and other 'toy' cameras previously used in such work. A Holga photograph by David Burnett of former vice-president Al Gore during a campaign appearance earned a top prize in a 2001 White House News Photographers' Association Eyes of History award ceremony.

Lens

Most Holga cameras use a single-piece plastic meniscus lens with a focal length of 60 millimeters and can focus from about 1 meter/yard to infinity. There is an aperture switch on the camera with two settings: sunny and cloudy. Due to a manufacturing oversight in early production cameras, this switch had no effect, giving the Holga only one true aperture of around f/13 — although these cameras are easily modified to provide two usable apertures. both this restriction and the 6×4.5 film mask as well, finding the resultant vignetting a desirable effect. Later Holgas were shipped without this film size restriction but still with the single aperture (Holgas can even be modified to use 35mm film.).

Modifications and variants

Holga cameras are often modified:

  • A Holga's interior can be "flocked"—coated with matte black paint—in order to limit the effect of light bouncing off the plastic interior from light leaks.
  • The Holga's aperture switch can be modified to provide a large ('cloudy') or small ('sunny') aperture.
  • The lens, and sometimes the entire shutter assembly, can be replaced with a pinhole (the "Pinholga").
  • The plastic lens can be replaced with a glass version (the "Woca").
  • Newer models of the camera come with multiple optional frame inserts (4.5 × 6 cm and 6 × 6 cm). Shooting without an insert can lead to problems keeping the 120 size film flat against the film plane.

Holga cameras may be fitted with a Polaroid back, allowing use of Polaroid 80 series instant film, or with newer models, 100 series film (but the image is not centered). This modification, sometimes termed a "Holgaroid" or "Polga", renders the viewfinder unusable, but allows for instant Holga prints. By sandwiching a normal 35mm roll of film into the Holga's 120 spool, "sprocket hole" exposures may be taken that expose the entire surface of 135 film. Cameras such as the Hasselblad have been modified to make use of a Holga lens. Holga plastic lenses have also been adapted to the Canon EOS, the Nikon f-mount, Pentax, Sony, Olympus and Minolta. An f-mount, 'melted' plastic Holga lens has been used on a digital f-mount camera while the EOS Holga has been mounted to the latest Canon DSLRs. Adapted lenses are also commercially available.

Holga camera Glossary.  Basically, you should be pretty much able to put any of these letters together and buy that specific camera (i.e, want a glass lense 120 holga with standard, no-color flash, then what I need, is a Holga 120GFN).

Term Definition
S Standard, as in the original Holga 120S
N New/Normal, means the new standard, the 120S was  replaced with the 120N
G Glass, A glass version of the standard plastic Holga lens
F Flash, this means the holga has a flash built in
W Wide, for a wide panaoramic holga
CF Color Flash, these letters will always be together, the color flash enables you to change the color on the flash that is built into the holga.
PC Pinhole Camera, Anytime you see PC, it means the holga doesn’t have a lense, but a pinhole instead, along with a permanent ‘B’ bulb mode.
BC Bent/Black Corners, The standard 135 camera lacks a lot of vignetting, so holga introduced the BC version to ‘bend the corners’ of your photo giving that much loved holga effect.
3D Three Dimensional. Basically, a holga with 2 lenses.
TLR Twin Lens Reflex, a holga with one lens for framing and one for taking the photo.
WOCA A Holga 120S with a Japanese-supplied glass meniscus lens, since discontinued and replaced by the Holga 120GN, which recalled the lens nomenclature for menisca
120 Takes 120 Film
120SF A standard Holga 120S, with built-in flash
120TLR A Holga 120CFN with a twin-lens reflex (TLR) viewfinder in lieu of the standard viewfinder, with a relocated color flash
120GTLR A Holga 120TLR with glass lens
135 Takes 35mm Film
110 Takes 110 Film
Medium Format 120 Roll film CameraHolga Medium Format Roll Film Cameras

Holga Digital

1/3.2 inch CMOS color sensor, 8 Mega Pixels, 4:3 or 1:1 ratio, f/2.8 or f/8
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Holga 120CFN  
A Holga 120FN with a color flash
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Holga 120GCFN Camera
Holga 120GCFN
A Holga 120FN with a color flash and glass lens
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Holga 120FN Medium Format Camera
Holga 120FN
A Holga 120N with a flash
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Holga 120SF – A standard Holga 120S, with a flash
Holga 120SF
A standard Holga 120S, with a flash
review
Holga 144-120 Medium Format 120N Camera
Holga 144-120 Medium Format 120N Camera with Built-in Lens - No Batteries Required
review
Holga 173-120 Holgawood Medium Format 120N Camera
Holga 173-120 Holgawood Medium Format 120N Camera with Built-in Lens (Casablanco).
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Holga 174-120 Holgawood Medium Format 120N Camera
Holga 174-120 Holgawood Medium Format with Built-in Lens (Jawz).  The Hollywood series. Each camera represents a moment in Hollywood time.
Holga 3D Stereo camera
Holga 3D Stereo camera •based on the Holga 120PC-3D (Pinhole) body design 
Holga 120GN Medium Format Camera
Holga 120GN Medium Format – A Holga 120N with a glass lens
Holga 120GFN Medium Format Camera
Holga 120GFN Medium Format – A Holga 120FN with a glass lens  •includes a built-in flash Discontinued
Holga 120S Medium Format Camera
Holga 120S Medium Format – The original Holga. Fixed shutter speed,  Discontinued

Holga Accessories

Holga 35mm Film Adaptor Kit for Holga 120 Medium Format Cameras Holga 35mm Film Adaptor Kit

For Holga 120 Medium Format Cameras This 35mm Film Adaptor Kit allows for the use of 35mm film in any Holga 120 medium format camera. Supplied with easy to follow instructions that will get you started quickly. This kit includes a plastic insert that replaces your existing battery cover/120 insert with one that guides 35mm film through the camera with a solid back without red window. Please Note: To remove 35mm film from your Holga camera after it has been exposed you must use a changing bag or go in to a light tight darkroom! You cannot take out the film from the camera in a regularly lit room.
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Holga Polaroid Instant Film Back Holga Polaroid Instant Film Back

HOLGAROID IS BACK! This newest version accommodates both T80 series and 669/690 series Polaroid films! Turn your Holga into the most unique instant camera you've ever seen with the new Instant Film Back! It's custom-built to fit both all Holga and Woca cameras, installing easily onto each of them within seconds. It comes with a Polaroid type film back, a mask to hold batteries in place in a Holga 120FN or 120 CFN camera, built-in tripod socket a .3x diopter which adjusts the Holga's film plane to accommodate the Polaroid back and newly designed plastic viewfinder (included). This film back will accommodate Polaroid T-80 series films as well as 690/669 size films. Please Note: T-80 series films result in a full frame image. 690/669 type films images are slightly off center. 
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Holga Slip On Filter AdapterHolga Slip On Filter Adapter
Finally! An easy way to use filters with your Holga. This adapter slips easily over the lens of your Holga or Woca camera and stays firmly in place. No glue, hooks or tape needed. Specially designed filters slide easily into place. Expand your Holga universe and spur your creativity with this incredible adapter. (Filters sold separately.) Check Price
Holga 12" Shutter Release SetHolga 12" Shutter Release Set
This Holga Shutter Release Set comes with shutter release adapter and premium 12" shutter release cable with auto lock/unlock mechanism. A custom adapter fits snugly over the lens of your Holga camera allowing you to use a cable release. Will not interfere with the new features of the Holga 12 0N, FN or CFN including tripod mount and Bulb setting switch. A real must have for every Holga Camera! Check Price
Holga Manual Shoe Mount Flash Holga Manual Shoe Mount Flash
With a GN of 22 meters (72 feet)  This all-manual compact light-weight flash features a a hot shoe with a locking ring and a constant guide number of 22 meters (72 feet). It is designed for the Holga 120S camera, but may also be used with other manual cameras.  Check Price
Holga Four Color Filter SetHolga Four Color Filter Set
For Color or Black & White Film.  Includes: Red, Yellow, Blue, Green Filters The colored filter set includes red, yellow, blue, and green filters and can be used to create bold, vibrant images or adjust the tonality of black and white photographs. In true Holga fashion, there is no contrast or color-correction numbers on the filters. Must be used with Holga Lens/Filter Holder Item #147120, sold separately.
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Holga Split Image Filter Set.Holga Split Image Filter Set
Includes: 1 - four-facet lens with center-focus, 1 - three-facet vertical lens, 1 - three facet pyramid lens. See the world in new ways with this three-lens set designed especially for the Holga camera and the Holga Lens & Filter Holder. Each lens in this set will surprise and please any photographer as it splits, repeats and blends in totally unique ways. Set includes 1 - four-facet lens with center-focus, 1 - three-facet vertical lens and 1 - three facet pyramid lens. Must be used with Holga lens/filter holder Item #147-120. sold separately.  Check Price
Holga Plastic Auxiliary Fish Eye LensHolga Plastic Auxiliary Fish Eye Lens
For Holga 120 Cameras. Holga Plastic Fisheye Lens.... This lens makes your extreme wide angle images looks even more Holga-like with extreme wide-angle distortion effects for a very reasonable price. Make sure that subject is not more than 2 meters away when using electronic flash. For use on Holga 120 cameras only. Not for use with Holga and Holgaroid Polaroid Film Back. 
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Holga .5x Wide Angle Adapter Lens for Holga 135 & 120 camerasHolga .5x Wide Angle Adapter Lens
For Holga 135 & 120 cameras. The Holga Wide Angle Lens (approximately .5x) yields a wider field of view than the standard Holga lens, allowing you to get more subject in your photo! Easily fits over the existing lens on all standard Holga 35mm and 120 cameras. Includes front and rear lens caps and carry bag. (Holga camera shown for illustration purposes only. Not included with purchase of Wide Angle Adapter lens.)  Check Price
Holga K202 – Meow Kitty cameraHolga K202 – Meow Kitty Camera
In the shape of a cat face with blinking lights. The Holga K202 Cat Camera emits a meowing sound that aims to attract the attention of the younger ones, causing them to stay rooted. I guess using this 35mm film camera will probably end up with plenty of shots where kids stare at you looking puzzled, wondering where the sound came from.
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